534 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 4 JULY 2018
The consultation paper begins with an overview of the present Act and
its administration. It goes on to examine the scope and application of the
Act against the background of the continuing erosion of the “standard
model” of permanent, full-time employment with regular hours of work.
That model is increasingly being replaced by less stable part-time, temporary
and “contract” working arrangements. Holding more than one job at
the same time is also increasingly common, especially at the lower end of
the income scale and among younger workers. The changing nature of
work and workplaces is a theme running through the consultation paper.
Demands for flexibility in working arrangements are now made by
employers and workers alike. Employers seek greater flexibility in scheduling
to deal with competitive pressures and fluctuations in business activity.
Employees seek flexible working arrangements to deal with competing
familial and educational obligations, among other reasons. The tentative
recommendations on compressed work weeks, flextime arrangements,
hours of work averaging agreements and minimum call-in pay represent an
effort to find a balance between the demands of both workers and employers
for greater flexibility in working arrangements, while maintaining a
basic level of protection to preserve decent working conditions.
The consultation paper does not address the level of the minimum wage
but contains recommendations on the means by which it should be set and
reviewed at fixed intervals. Other tentative recommendations concern
employees’ tips and gratuities and the protection of particularly vulnerable
classes of employees, including farm labourers, working children, migrant
workers and domestic workers.
The consultation paper gives much attention to the Act’s enforcement,
an area seen as fraught with problems. The tentative recommendations
reflect a sense on both the labour and employer sides of the project committee
that enforcement practice has swung too far in the direction of consensual
resolution and settlement. Some movement back towards a more
investigative process is considered necessary, with some new provisions
added to increase procedural fairness.
The Consultation Paper on the Employment Standards Act may be
found on the BCLI website at <www.bcli.org/law-reform-resources/bclipublications>.
BCLI and the project committee hope that the consultation
paper will generate a high level of response from business, labour and
advocacy organizations and the general public.
THE CANADIAN CENTRE FOR ELDER LAW CELEBRATES 15 YEARS
In 2018 the Canadian Centre for Elder Law (“CCEL”) celebrates 15 years of